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addresses sounds to the eye, or sights to the ear, or scents to the general touch; and sanity consists to no small degree in the ability to pay this constant respect to objects and uses. When Don Quixote attacks the windmills, and when the little girl in the fable attempts reasoning with a wolf, there is lawful exertion of powers, but not due recognition of character in the object. Now no one (this side India) prohibits the expenditure of powder and ball upon wolves; therefore no one thinks the rifle an instrument whose use is intrinsically unsuitable to The only question accordingly will be this: Is ever a fellow-man one of those foes against whom mortal defences may be turned? The answer is, that whenever a man is a wolf, as too many men are, then weapon against wolf is weapon against him. But here will come the retort, that to call men wolves is a mere piece of rhetoric, and beneath use in serious discussion. Let us see. What is a wolf? or, in other words, what is that fact in the wolf-nature which of right exposes the creature to odium and deadly assault? Not the fact that he is a four-footed animal of the canine family; but simply that he is a lawless depredator and destroyer, a soldier of chaos, opposed to a human order of things in the world. It is not against shapes of creatures that we fight; it is not shapes of creatures that we should spare; we fight only against lawless destruction, against chaos; and to destroy aught but destruction, or to fail of warring upon this, is a shame and a wickedness. There is a certain narrowness and rigidity of regard in making overmuch of these distinctions of quadruped and biped, and one should take care that his sympathy do not get imprisoned in the formulas of nature more than in those of man. Moral altitude has a lawful supremacy, whether for praise or condemnation, over all this mere symbolism of form; for that is the fact which form only aims to signify. Accordingly, to term the lawless destroyer a wolf, is no boyish vagueness of rhetoric, but strict accuracy of speech; for here the deeper community of nature overrides, as it should, the more outward distinction of form. The wolf is shot, not as a beast, but as a beast of prey; and the men of prey are in the same category with him in the fulness of that fact, which alone condemns him to death. It is the habits and purposes, not the anatomy, against

which the sword is turned; it is base and bloody dispositions that justify the recriminations of battle; and wolf is wolf to us only as he is a murderer of the flock; and man is man to us only as he is human, not inhuman.

We have, indeed, precisely the same argument for the defence of the body by physical force as for its nourishing by material aliment. Man lives not by bread alone, nor protects himself by the hand alone; yet the same who said, "He that drinketh of the water that I give him shall never thirst," was mocked at as a wine-bibber for his continual and genial presence at feasts; and as the fact of a nobler nutrition should not banish the dinner-table, so that of a higher resistance should not tie the hands.

But Nature has added to these general provisions the force of a special commandment. Nature's ordinances are instincts, and to her every creature is a Sinai. But who knows not that the instinct of the human race points undividedly to defence of your own person and rights, and still more, and with added dignity, to protection of those whom Nature has left in some degree defenceless,- of babes and children, of disabled persons, of weak minorities, and (with some timidity we add) of women? Moreover, muscular resources are specially provided to meet the demands of this instinct. There was never a man who, upon seeing a child subjected to outrage, or a woman brutally assaulted, did not feel the tides of force. streaming toward his hands, and doubling their strength; the bidding of the highest authority to interfere, and the power to interfere with efficacy, burn along every artery, thrill down every sinew; and who shall gainsay them? Who shall gainsay, unless he be prepared to show that Nature is superfluous, irrational, wicked? Who shall gainsay, and yet confess that she is infinitely wise and sure, and man and the world rightly builded?


"But these instincts, though actual, are brutal." objection has been already met; yet here is occasion to say that this poor word brutal suffers no little maltreatment, its merely rhetorical use being reflected to an overshadowing degree upon its more proper signification. The implication is, that there exists in man an entire category of powers and

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impulses, made only to be eradicated, designed originally for treatment with caustic potash. "Brutal," that is, natural instincts, as every one at this late day should know, arein their way, time, place, natural degree, and lawful subordination not only respectable, but sacred, and endowed with unspeakable authority. Hunger and thirst are "brutal"; but they tell truly that man is to eat and drink, and they point, in the main, to their legitimate satisfactions, that is, hunger not at water, nor thirst to a dry biscuit. In a rhetorical use of language, we call those actions or impulses of men brutal which are unnaturally base, fierce, or obscene; that is, we indicate the aversion of an instinct from its lawful course. But it is a strange arguing crab-wise, to infer from this piece of mere accommodation in speech, that whatsoever instincts man has in common with brutes are bad, in other words, that a part of his nature is unnatural, a portion of his instincts wrong, not by their crooked and unseasonable, but by straightforward and timely action.

In truth, natural instincts and impulses are in themselves destitute of moral content; they are simply vehicles for the conveyance of whatever freight, good or bad, sweet or unwholesome, may be bestowed upon them. Kings and beggars travel on the same road. The sword is ever the same; but either heaven or hell may lay hand to its hilt. Even the simplest self-preservation, and secured by use of the same simple means, differs in character in different cases to the last stretch of unlikeness.

A story is told of a Puritan mother, who, alone in her hut on the skirt of the forest, saw the savage prowling for the scalp of her golden-haired child, then sleeping before her. She was a tender and susceptible woman, with a horror of instruments of death hitherto unconquerable. Her husband had often sought to instruct her in the management of the rifle, that she might be the more safe in his absence; but her shrinking would not be overcome, though she had, half unconsciously, kept some observant side-glances upon him. during his handling of the weapon. But in this peril of her babe, the woman's nature seemed wholly to change. She barred door and window, and in the venerable hardihood of

love took down the loaded rifle from its rest, her nerves firm as those of a veteran hunter about to shoot his ordinary game. She saved her child and her own life. In a strong man, the act would have been a matter of course. In her, it was one of heroism, faith, religion.

It may be said that the she-tiger would do as much. Well, what if this were true? So much the better for the tigress! All that brutes do, as has already been urged, is not in the opprobrious sense brutal; else the fidelity of the dog to his fallen master, and many a piece of quadruped holiness and heroism, would fall under ban. But, after all, the cases are in no degree parallel. The tigress has no tender, shrinking nerves to be informed by love with a hardihood not their own; no horror of bloodshed; no gentle charities and sweet reluctances; but glares fury from her sullen eyes by mere enhancement of her usual mood. The instinct of resistance, then, has just that dignity which is afforded by the affections that support and surround it; and there may be love and pity in blows, when there is treachery in kisses.

It is, however, asserted-and were it true, all further argument would be cut off-that human life is inviolable, that it can under no circumstances be touched without blame. Is, however, more than a moment's inspection requisite, to make clear the contrary? If a man swallow arsenic, does Nature say, "Human life is inviolable," and therewith dismiss him without consequences? Nature takes life in mere fidelity to physiological law: can human life be amenable to this, and not amenable to the more sacred law of justice? Nature draws her line and says, " On the one side is life, and on the other death": may not justice, speaking by the hearts and working by the hands of innocent men, in like manner draw her bounds, and utter her solemn warning, "Pass this limit, and you pass forbearance"? It may be said that there is no parity between these cases. No parity? Nature may commission the stone with the discharge of her supreme purposes, with the administration and vindication of her weightiest laws, but man she may not honor with an equal trust? Man, who is her consummate and central expression, in whom, as a comprehensive and articulate symbol, she has poured out

and uttered her whole heart; whom, by endowing him with reason, conscience, choice, she has made her steward, and taken into her confidence, he forsooth, is less intrusted with the use of penalties and enforcement of laws than agents that are wholly blind, that between fool and sage, between saint and caitiff, cannot choose! We think otherwise.

Of course, dissent is here intimated from the ordinary argument against capital punishment, from the dogma that society has no lawful power over the lives of its members. Every one must indeed covet deliverance from the practice of such penalties; but let them be set aside, if at all, for other and better reasons; this one is radically vicious. For, on the contrary, the state and every social body is bound by sacred obligations to indicate, and to indicate with emphasis, a more precious estimation of justice, freedom, and the honor and innocence of man and woman, than of mere physical life, or of property, or of aught else; and failing flagrantly to do this, it is erelong weighed in the balances, and found wanting.

But perhaps the final intrenchment of the extreme upholders of peace is found in the doctrine of Plato, that evil must not be rendered for evil, or in the stronger demand of the New Testament, which is also that of Marcus Antoninus, that good shall be rendered for evil, and enmity met only with love. Very clear it is, indeed, that the good man will do good, and not evil, not evil, but good, to all men, and under all circumstances; which is the same as to say that the sun will give out light, and not darkness, and the rose shed sweet, and not noisome odors. He is good to none who is not so to all; and he is so to all who is, in the best sense, good to one; for none can be, in the deepest sense, good in action, who is not such in essence; while he that is good intrinsically must needs express this essential quality in all actions and relations whatsoever. And, to say truth, one need not be very deeply instructed in rectitude, nor very powerfully swayed by goodwill, to rise beyond all imagination of doing essential harm to any in revenge of private injury; and the least proclivity to this egotism is rather what a decent soul should blush to feel, than plume itself upon wanting.

But what is a doing evil? To confront perfidy with peril,

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